Ride for Life begins fundraising

Liliana Castillo

Relay for Life’s largest contributing team is starting its fundraising season Sunday.

The Ride for Life, which contributed $30,000 last year, is holding its kick off at JX Ranch north of Broadview.

Participants will go on a two hour trail ride up to a lunch point, hold a meeting about how to raise money, and take another two hour ride down another route.

“It gets the blood and juices flowing. It’s a big pep rally basically,” organizer Amber Workheiser said.

Monte Graham created the event in 2000 as a way to honor his father when he came down with cancer. Workheiser took over leadership of the ride three years ago.

“Monte asked if I would take over. I had just lost my mom to cancer so it was a great opportunity to take it over,” she said.

The person who raises the most in the Ride for Life team, which had 70 team members last year, earns a saddle. Other tack serves as prizes for other high fundraisers.

The prizes are given in April, Workheiser said. Sunday will be about planning how to get there.

Jennifer Starkey of Clovis won the saddle last year with a raised amount of almost $4,000.

Starkey’s grandmother died of colon cancer and her mom is a breast cancer survivor.

“It’s about cancer awareness,” Starkey said. “It seems like it affects everyone. Everyone has a friend or relative who had dealt with it. We’re all kind of connected through it because it’s affecting us or someone that we love.”

Starkey said she hopes more cancer awareness means more preventative measures like tests and checks.

Starkey said the ride for life draws in a crowd with different interests.

“It’s just like a poker ride for motorcycles,” she said. “Any way to draw a different group.”

Workheiser said the ride helps provide something for everyone.

The Ride for Life 2011 will take place at Boney Ranch which is north of Broadview in Curry County. The event will take place over night, much like Relay for Life.

Workheiser said attendees requested the ride follow the same format as the Relay, complete with luminarias honoring lost loved ones. Previously the ride lasted four hours.

“I love it. Anytime you can be out in God’s elements on his terms is a benefit,” Starkey said.